Farhad Moshiri is changing his big-spending ways.
That is the only conclusion to be drawn from Everton’s quickly-aborted pursuit of Newcastle defender Jamaal Lascelles.
The Northern Echo report that the cash-rich Merseysiders made an approach to sign the centre-back this summer after his impressive 2017-18 campaign.
But it is said that Everton were “scared off” by the £30million asking price of their Premier League rivals and have instead turned their attention to Middlesbrough centre-back Ben Gibson.
Moreover, owner Moshiri has told new manager Marco Silva he will have to “sell to buy” following the mega spending of the last two years, with serious squad-pruning planned.
The Iranian billionaire has sanctioned the biggest spending spree in Everton’s history in the last two years but he has had little return on his investment.
Sam Allardyce, Ronald Koeman and Steve Walsh have paid with their jobs following two mediocre campaigns in which hopes of breaking into the Premier League elite have not materialised.
Moshiri is clearly unwilling to throw good money after bad.
In previous windows, he is unlikely to have been put off by a £30million-plus valuation of Lascelles, a 24-year-old defender of spirit and resilience who is developing into a top-class operator.
But Everton have had their fingers burned by so many lousy big-money signings – Gylfi Sigurdsson, Davy Klaassen, Theo Walcott, Yannick Bolasie and Michael Keane to name but a few – that Moshiri appears to have changed tack in a major way.
The good news for Newcastle fans is that means one less wealthy club trying to prise Lascelles from them this summer.
For the Everton faithful, they should be braced for a raft of big-name departures before the marquee arrivals head in.